The January 20 Council meeting is a work session only, without any votes. Three topics will be covered: the City's Annual Financial Report and Audit; the Actuarial Report on the Police Pension Plan; and a Briefing on the Proposed Update to the Montgomery College Facilities Master Plan (this briefing will be provided by Montgomery College Provost Brad Stewart).
There will also be a closed (i.e. non-public) session starting at 6:30 PM where Council Members will receive lobbying training relating to the Maryland State Legislative Session (this will be an Administrative session, which will not include Council discussion of potential positions on issues or proposed legislation).
Here is a link to the agenda: http://documents.takomaparkmd.gov.s3.amazonaws.com/government/city-council/agendas/2016/agenda-20160120.pdf
And here is a link to the information packet that provides background information on the agenda items (scroll past the agenda calendar to get to the packet info):
The Montgomery College Master Plan is a document that will set the framework over the next ten years for any new construction or expansion of College buildings at the North Takoma campus.
Unfortunately, the new Master Plan is being considered under a very rapid timetable with minimal opportunity for meaningful public consultation or comment. The document has not been shared in written form with affected Takoma Park residents or the City Council. The College does not plan to make it public until after it is voted on by the College's Board of Directors on January 25. It will be submitted to the State Higher Education Commission on February 1.
In October of last year, the City Council passed a resolution -- drafted by my Council predecessor Seth Grimes -- expressing concern about this process. Here is the resolution: http://documents.takomaparkmd.gov/government/city-council/resolutions/2015/resolution-2015-57.pdf
While most details of the Master Plan aren't clear, the College is apparently developing a proposal to replace its science buildings and Falcon Hall, all of which are located on Fenton Street, with a single, larger structure. This and other construction proposals that could emerge from the Master Plan may have a significant impact on many North Takoma residents.
Residents with concerns or questions are encouraged to attend the Council meeting and, if they wish, to speak up about the Master Plan during the Public Comment period.
Please feel free to contact me with any questions or if you would like further information about any of these matters.
Peter Kovar, Takoma Park City Council, Ward One